I don’t understand, why do you charge me and not her? I live in the U.K.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK.
The first thing I think of when I hear of the recent shooting in Kansas City is the suspect, 29-year-old Dylann Roof. I’m thinking of the two other people killed in the assault, 22-year-old Alison Parker and 34-year-old Ron Jackson, also two Missouri natives. I’m thinking of the fact that the suspect confessed to the crime.
“I did it for them,” Roof told police in an interview at the time. “I’m going to try to do it for as long as I can because it’s right and just. I’m tired of them shooting my race, they’re killing my people.”
Now, in the news, all this talk of racial grievance and the need for a racially pure society may have died. But what does that really mean? I think not everyone who believes, as Roof did, that his race was an impediment to having a happy life is so far removed from the rest of America’s majority. If America is “unhealthy,” Roof’s case is a small taste of what can happen when that culture of racial grievance prevails.
But I think Roof was too isolated to be affected by the larger phenomenon of America becoming segregated and the problems that followed. I also think he was being helped by the fact that, with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, African Americans have gained the right to vote. But how much of that benefit he obtained was actually due to racial resentment and how much to the fact that he was a troubled individual?
I think most of what has gone on in America is about economic issues, not racial resentment. The economic issues are that African Americans are being pushed aside as a group and are less likely to hold positions of power. That is true in business, academia, the media, politics, and even entertainment. The people who get the most attention are either African Americans themselves or whites.
Anecdotes aside, it seems the biggest problem in America is economic stagnation. That stagnation leads to lower quality of life. For example, according to the latest census, more than a quarter of black households live in poverty. It doesn’t help that half of black children live in poverty, as do one in five white children. In the South, the racial gap between white and
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